Partial Eclipse

Jennifer is in solitary confinement, imprisoned for an undisclosed crime. Denied companionship, made desperate by the cruel tedium of her surroundings, she escapes in to a world of memory and imagination where two stories emerge.
Jennifer’s is a love story. She has fallen for an easygoing jazz musician called Tom. They meet one Christmas in Scotland and a romantic affair soon sparks into an  obsessive and unyielding passion. There is an inexorable link between this and her imprisonment – but what exactly is it?

Peggy Maybee, Jennifer’s ancestor, was transported for stealing a peacock. That is all that is known about Peggy, but not all that is imagined. For Jennifer conjures a life for her aboard a convict ship bound for Botany Bay. A partial eclipse of the moon used by the captain as inspiration for a sermon triggers a mutiny and, among the chaos of brawling thieves, cut-throats, whores and crew, Peggy makes a bid for freedom.

‘Brilliant .. seductive and assured.’
– Nick Hornby, Sunday Times

‘Glaister’s rounded gift is to show life as it really is.’
– Independent on Sunday

‘Glaister’s novels always appear to be as effortless for her to write as they are for us to read.’
– The Times

‘This novel opens with a woman in a prison cell but it is not until the very last pages that we learn how she got there. The writing is very good, well-paced, strong and evocative. We learn about her affair as a very young girl, with a married man, but Glaister transcends the conventions with her adroit characterizations which allow for eccentricity and for the depth of feeling she can encompass. There is little that is predictable in this most predictable of situations, but it does become a salutary warning along the way, though I am not sure what the moral might be, or even if there is one. As pure story, it is electrifyingly readable, however, and full of life and feeling, as she moves easily between the modern day story and that of an ancestor of the protagonist who was deported to Australia for attempting to steal a peacock. Glaister’s measured, clear, persuasive prose makes this a compelling read.’ 
– Amazon customer review – Eileen Shaw